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The holidays! One of my favorite times of year let me assure you. Although my family has never been big, my dad normally works, and we live in Florida where Thanksgiving and Christmas are always hot we still celebrate every year. It’s a celebration, something that calls for more than just cheering on your favorite football team from the couch or seeing how many pieces of pie you can personally stuff your face with before feeling like you’re about to explode (my personal record is 6 by the way). It calls for the celebration of agriculture and the national tradition that we can and will hold true.

At Thanksgiving, sitting around the table we all go around and ask each member what they are thankful for. There are always the usual things like family, faith, health, love, and so on and so forth. However, I always say something extra, “FFA, and the farmers that grow this food so that we may consume it.” After all the first Thanksgiving was originally founded off of the pursuit and prosperity of agriculture if I’m remembering my history correctly. The Pilgrims and Indians came together after the Indians had helped the Pilgrims to grow crops and survive in the New World. So why is it that we seldom look to agriculture at this time for joyous celebration and focus instead on parade floats, pumpkin pie, and seeing how many touchdowns our teams can score?

Do we ever consider the fact that agriculture is a 365 day per year job? There are no full holidays, no sick days, and in this day in time almost no “thank you”. Although Thanksgiving has come and gone it is never too late to give thanks for the blessings we all possess. Never. We are blessed to be able to hug our families and tell them goodbye before we leave in the morning for school and to come home to a roof over our heads, a warm bed, and plenty of food to keep us satisfied. Most of all it is never too late to extend a thank you to an agriculturalist somewhere.

So Mariah, as you would like to tell us all that we should be thankful for, what about you? I’m always thankful for family, faith, and the FFA. I’m thankful for Netflix, passionate FFA members, the ability to serve you, shark pajamas after a long day, the entire Star Wars franchise, Mr. Ronnie Simmons, Mr. Kevin Kent, and Ms. Hannah Huggins. I am thankful for the seven individuals you chose to become my best friends and my siblings, Anna, Brett, Catharin, Emily, Hunter, Mason, and William. Lastly Florida FFA I will forever be thankful for you and the blue jacket we all love and share.

Happy Holidays from all of us!

Forever Blue,

Mariah Alvarez
Area VI State Vice President

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